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Archive for January, 2011

Pray for Egypt

I spoke with an Egyptian-American friend today whose in-laws (and other family) live in Egypt. His father-in-law is 87 years old, and is one of the most wonderful Christian men you will ever meet. My friend spoke with his father-in-law this morning  and asked him what Cairo was like right now. He responded that “it’s a mess,…it’s just a mess”. Then he began to talk about how he trusts God in the midst of the turmoil, how God would take care of him, how much God loves him and how faithful God has always been to him. My friend said that here was this 87 year old man talking about God like a 5 year old talks about his father. I don’t know how well this will translate in a blog, but it struck me as an incredibly beautiful picture of a very mature, very realistic and very childlike faith. It is easy as you watch the coverage of the Egyptian crisis right now, it is easy to get discouraged about how it will turn out. As I pray for Egypt, I want to remember that I am praying to a faithful and loving Father. And I want to walk with our Father the way that this Godly man does.

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Here’s a great follow-up to yesterday’s post. This is a video by Darrin Patrick, who is a pastor in St. Louis and leader of the Acts29 church planting movement.

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Last Sunday, Kennon Vaughan of Downline Ministries spoke to the Emmaus class about his testimony and discipleship. One thing (among many) he said that has really stayed with me was how Soup Campbell responded to Kennon’s desire to be discipled: “Soup told me that he wasn’t interested in how smart or talented I was, but that if I was faithful he could show me how to be a man of God.” It has me thinking about how often I try to be self-sufficient instead of trusting God.  One other part of his story that has stuck around is the question he asked Soup after several months of “living life” with  and being discipled by Soup: “Where are the other men doing what you are doing?” It’s a good question.

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to Red Mountain Music at Second Presbyterian next Saturday night.  Drawing to be held Tuesday PM.  To enter leave your name and preferred contact (email, phone, etc) in the comments (we will delete them after we enter you for the concert); by contacting Jason Hood; or Robb Roaten or Jacqueline Jones at Second Presbyterian (first initial and last name, then @2pc.org), telling them you want to enter for the drawing and giving contact info.

Very high quality music, great contemporary arrangements of hymns.

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Adolescence

Here’s a quick quote from a recent sermon called “Joseph: Man of Quiet Nobility” by Bryan Loritts of Fellowship Memphis Church. I think he is quoting someone else, but I can’t remember who. It’s a terrific sermon on what we can learn from Joseph about what it means to be a Godly man.

Adolescence is desiring all of the benefits of adulthood without embracing the responsibilities of adulthood.

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Lucky

I just read a column by Jon Foreman (of Switchfoot) called “This Is What Luck Smells Like“. Foreman talks about how being next to a guy who smells bad on a transAtlantic flight leads him to meditating on how thankful he should be that he can smell. And how we choose to see our lives,

“Maybe luck is a choice. Yeah, maybe luck is a choice. A choice to be thankful for the myriad blessings that you have rather than complain about the few smells that are unpleasant. Seems like luck doesn’t pour out like it does on the beer commercials: the young, rich, good looking, famously lucky few turn out to complain more often than their “unlucky” contemporaries. Maybe luck is a choice chosen by those whose roots sink deep into the grounds of community, sacrifice, family, worship and service. Yes, maybe luck is a choice.”

He was getting personal with me, I know what he’s talking about. I mean, I’m not a pessimist, but it doesn’t take much to set me grumbling. Then he ends it with this, which finished me off:

“But I’d like turn in my grumbling rights. I’d like to burn the authorization that I was born with, the authorization to complain, moan, and sigh heavily. I’d like to surrender my weapons of privilege. Here and now, I lay them down.”

This is something to think on, maybe a great New Year’s Resolution: to surrender my weapons of privilege.

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Converting to Islam

From Britain’s Independent newspaper, an interesting report on the number of converts to Islam (and their motives for doing so).  Here’s an interesting money quote:

I do now wear a headscarf but it wasn’t something I adopted straightaway. Hijab is such an important concept in Islam but it’s not just about clothing. It’s about being modest in everything you do. I started dressing more modestly – forgoing low cut tops and short skirts – but before I donned a headscarf I had to make sure I was comfortable on the inside before turning my attention to the outside. Now I feel completely protected in my headscarf. People treat you with a new level of respect, they judge you by your words and your deeds, not how you look. It’s the kind of respect every dad wants for their daughter.

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